AVRR Belgium Support Project (2016-2017)
The AVRR Belgium Support Project was funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) – Belgium National Actions and co-funded by Fedasil(FR) / (NL), and implemented from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. It follows the past EU funded reintegration assistance projects implemented in the previous years.
Enhanced Reintegration Assistance Packages
The AVRR B-Support project provided enhanced reintegration assistance packages to 30 eligible AVRR cases, thus delivering a viable and humanitarian response to the needs of 38 migrants in 11 countries of origin. The aim of the support is that returnees generate sufficient income to respond to their household need in a long term manner. IOM helped beneficiaries to developed a reintegration plan to invest their grants in an income generating activity, which took shape in the following activities:
- Running or partner in a micro-business or in an agricultural/ livestock activity for self-employment
- Employment with wage subsidy support
- vocational training or tuition fees coverage to increase employability
The reintegration process was monitored for up to 12 month after return. Stories of return and reintegration illustrate the type of support provided:
- 5 livestock enterprises (sheep, cattle breeding) financed
- 21 retail and services enterprises supported: 1 travel agency for tourism, 1 customer services facility office for administrative affairs, 2 transportation services, 1 bakery, 1 barber shop, 1 tailoring business, 14 retail stores selling a diverse range of products (from groceries, cosmetics and sanitary goods, informatics, clothing, shoes, to fuel)
- 3 returnees assisted with education/tuition fees coverage: law studies and job placement
- 1 wage subsidy support as shop assistant
The program also aims to respond to the identified vulnerabilities of returnees by covering for complex medical or urgent material household needs, which was done for 5 Unaccompanied minors children or aged out adults, 4 medical cases, and 4 families with children.
The IOM reintegration teams in country of origin deliver the assistance in consultation with the IOM Brussels team of reintegration counselors following a flexible, needs oriented, and participative approach. The services provided are:
- Orientation and counselling throughout the reintegration process,
- development and implementation of reintegration plans,
- redaction of micro-business plans,
- delivery of in-kind reintegration grants,
- referrals to relevant governmental institutions and local partner organizations,
- Monitoring and advise for up to 12 months after return.
Specific approach on Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) and group socio-economic orientation (SEO) courses in Iraq
In addition, to enhance the opportunities to make a livelihood in Iraq, IOM organized Technical and Vocational Training delivered by an NGO based in Baghdad, the Nadia Institute for Training: 23 returnees took the English language course and 9 returnees got trained on hairdressing and barbering. The trainees were all provided with an official qualification certificates to support them in their job search and increase their chance of employment. One trainee opened his hair dressing salon for men. A further 40 returnees took a full day group socio-economic orientation (SEO) course delivered by IOM Baghdad on: administrative steps to take to remove barriers to settling back to Iraq; life skills and the psychological aspects of return; entrepreneurship and business startup and management; education opportunities, and provided direct job orientation. The course was evaluated and returnee feedback was very positive as it helped them be more confident and opened further options for reintegration. In addition, it was a rare opportunity to meet other returnees and built their network of fellow returnees. A video on the vocational trainings and a separate video on the SEO course are available in Arabic with English subtitle.
In parallel, IOM produced a video in Albania during the Fedasil/IOM monitoring mission of November 2017 to highlight the available training opportunities for Albanian returnees.
AVRR online application
The AVRR online application was tested and fine-tuned to allow REAB partners to submit voluntary return and reintegration applications online, insert case information during the pre-departure process, and receive feedback on the migrants they assisted. Specific trainings on the use of the application were provided to REAB partners and Belgian counterparts and their feedback was evaluated in a report for future developments in the coming years.
For more information, contact Ms. Jacqueline Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org ) tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 13.